Can I go into the ocean two weeks after implants - sub muscular, periareolar incision?

I am getting implants on November 2nd. I have a trip to Costa Rica booked November 15-21. Will I be able to go into the ocean or a swimming pool? Obviously swimming will be out of the question, but can I at least go into the water to snorkel?

Doctor Answers 10

Swimming After Breast Augmentation

Patients are eager to return to normal activity as soon as possible following breast augmentation surgery. Unfortunately, returning to normal activity too soon can result in an increased potential for complications. Swimming is an activity that can potentially have negative consequences if resumed too soon.

Theoretically, once the skin edges have sealed in about 48 hours following surgery, these activities can be resumed. In reality small absorbable sutures may break through the skin and become exposed. In this situation, infection could occur in a patient who is submerged in a Jacuzzi, pool, pond or ocean. Each of these environments may have unique and in many cases, antibiotic resistant bacteria that could lead to a significant infection.

In addition, plastic surgeons generally don't recommend resumption of strenuous activity for at least six weeks following breast augmentation surgery. Swimming can create significant strain on the core muscles and should, therefore, be avoided in the immediate post-operative period.

It's important to realize that every patient's procedure and post-operative course is unique. For these reasons, make sure you consult your plastic surgeon before getting into the water.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Maybe Okay If Your Recovery is Going Well

At 2 weeks after your surgery, you should be okay to go underwater if your recovery is going well. Swimming should not be done until about 6 weeks after surgery, since it is quite vigorous and requires upper body strength. However, please follow your surgeon's advice if they advise something different.

If you're outside, please make sure you cover up your incisions from sun exposure, as not doing so can make your scars much more noticeable.  

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Can I go into the ocean after implants - submuscular, periareolar incision?

Hello! Thank you for your question! On average, a period of approximately 3-4 weeks on average is typical. Submerging in stagnant water, be it bathtubs, jacuzzis, pools, lakes, oceans, etc. can certainly increase your chance for infections. I usually await the incisions to be fully healed prior to allowing for this type of activity. If you do have any wound issues or delayed healing, expect that you will be restricted from doing such things.  

However, I allow my patients to shower and clean incisions at 3 days postoperative. Regardless, the answer will vary amongst plastic surgeons and you should discuss this with your surgeon and follow his/her instructions. Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Swimming After Getting Breast Implants

Thank you for your question. No and no. The exercise will make you swell, and the infection risk is present if you are active and pull apart your incision. Enjoy the vacation in other ways, and enjoy their good brew. I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Swimming after surgery

We all have different rules. I would check with your PS and get their opinion. They will have a good idea of how you are healing and if there will be any down side to getting your incision wet.

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Check with your surgeon

I honestly cannot answer this question with a yes or a no without seeing the incision site is healing. If the site is closed and looking well, I would take the extra cautious step of waterproofing the dressing. Even with that, I wouldn't recommend staying in the water for extended period of time. And I would say no to activities in the water, even snorkeling. You will need to use your arm at some point and that is not recommended only 2 weeks post surgery. Check with your doctor to see if it is ok for you to take a dip in the swimming pool or the ocean. I would skip the snorkeling. Best of luck

Thomas T. Nguyen, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Two weeks after surgery and swimming in ocean

Incisions are not completely healed within two weeks. In my practice I would caution against it. Best to ask your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Post op implant recovery

I would advise you to stay out of the water for one month post op. I would stay out of the water and hold off on your vacation. Best of luck.

Swimming after surgery

Your incisions should be closed by two weeks so water in and of itself is not the problem. My concern is more the physical activity shortly after surgery. Going in a pool should be safe but snorkling in the ocean is slightly different so let discretion be your guide and see what your surgeon thinks.

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Ocean after implants

The general answer is yes you can get into a pool or the ocean but it is individualized to the patient and the Dr. Some Drs may not want you exposed to ocean or pool water at that time. Obviously ask the Dr who is doing your surgery.(One option is a water proof dressing while in the water)

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.